Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Steve Grand and The Post He Deserves

Anybody who follows me on Twitter knows I stan hard for pop* singer/songwriter and LGBTQ rights activist, Steve Grand.

*You even think of calling him "country", I will end you.

Since discovering him through BuzzFeed (a site more known for unleashing the "listicle"* and that debate over a goddamn dress so illogical it killed Spock) I've grown to love what he does; keep in mind the fact I'm not a Kickstarter fan [YouTube turned Billboard link of SoundCloud turned Spotify** turned buying a CD*** through Barnes & Noble****], I still got this bit of appreciation from him for an honest review despite the fanboy grading...

This is not the most shameless way I will have ever pimped his social media.

*"Listicle" being the latest portmanteau that needs to die.
**Spotify being French for "That thing Taylor Swift hates."
***CDs are the things that are "dead" thanks to fickle consumers and trend-whores alike.
****Barnes & Noble being a place that sells physical books or "paper Kindles" for clueless people.

However, Steve needs a post about the non-Speedo/"ZOMG! He's in skimpy swimwear" side of him. Don't worry, I've got this on lock...

First off, Steve Grand is first and foremost about his musical identity. Which is why I must relay and reiterate he is NOT country. Especially not in the click-bait style way he was crudely introduced through BuzzFeed's headline "Meet The First Openly Gay Male Country Star" on July 3rd, 2013; the day after the video/debut of "All-American Boy". [http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/meet-steve-grand-who-might-be-the-first-ever-gay-male-countr#.xs3ONk39]

A companion piece was posted 5 days later [http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/the-story-behind-gay-singer-steve-grands-all-american-boy#.scbOEbGW] and from that day, he's had to say this repeatedly and in many a different format:

"To be honest, I wasn’t trying to write a country song..." "...at the end of the day, people can call it what they want. I’m just gonna keep being honest in my songwriting."

Early interviews he's given suggested that this "genre"/"labeling" wasn't as much of an issue, but let's face facts here; he's had to dispute these claims on CNN and MSNBC; yeah...the major news networks CNN and MSNBC (and he was the first ever musical guest on the MSNBC program Out There with Thomas Roberts).

Openly disputes country claim @ around the 1:30 mark


Disputes country claim after performing "All-American Boy" @ around the 8:10 mark

Enter from his 2013 interview conducted by Louis Virtel & 2015 interview conducted by Jim Halterman with TheBacklot [which is now part of NewNowNext]:

2013: "TBL: Do you consider “All-American Boy” a country song? You’ve recorded in plenty of different styles over the years.

SG: ...I never thought of myself as a country artist...it’s rock and pop deep-fried in a little bit of a country."

2015: "So let’s set the record straight, so to speak. How would you characterize yourself as an artist?

SG:  If I had to nail it down I would just say that I’m a singer-songwriter with various Americana influences. That’s the first time I’ve ever said that sentence and it actually sounds awesome. That could be like Songwriter Americana."

Enter his interview with comedian and "video vanguard" Jonny McGovern for the now World of Wonder owned series Hey Qween! [and the term "fairy dust of country"] and despite his best efforts, some people are really disrespectful of him saying he isn't country.

If only this were the face that said,
"Fairy dust of country? How about Fairy dust of Singer/Songwriter?"

Second, the man is proof Kickstarter is able to produce something of tangible mainstream success. After becoming the most successful Kickstarter music project from an artist never affiliated with a label, his success eventually landed a mainstream dent when his debut album All American Boy landed on 3 Billboard charts for the week of April 11th, 2015*:

#47 on the Billboard 200

#27 in Top Album Sales

#3 on the Independent Albums Chart

*Technically, he also attained a peak of #19 on the Digital Albums Chart, but the bastards who run that chart only show the Top 15

Lastly, he's way more than rehashed photos from his modeling days and the very sporadic at best Speedo pics outlets like Queerty, The Backlot [now NewNowNext], Towleroad, etc. love to act like he took yesterday.

Since the start of his career, Grand has been open about being a gay man in the music scene and being an activist for the LGBTQ community.

Seen here at Cleveland Pride 2015

Since JUNE of this year, Grand embarked on a tour of European and U.S. Pride events, starting in Austria dipping into two performances in Latvia and Lithuania [and if I remember right, he did mention something about Estonia]. Austria is cool with LGBTQ people; the other three countries listed? Not so much; in other words he more or less risked his ass to play those gigs.

How exactly did Latvia and Lithuania come up? Oh, just being sent as part of a motherfucking cultural envoy that even had him give a seminar over the music business from the perspective as an independent artist.
Oh, I accidentally downplayed the fact he was sent to those countries by the motherfucking
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT. When will YOUR faves?

Last but certainly not least, the man loves a shameless plug for his album and social media outlets (which he's been on 2 "breaks" from it because information like this goes unappreciated by media outlets)

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!! I agree with your every word and praise this blog! I'm a die hard true fan and live his music as well as the man behind it. Huge crush btw.. and I feel this is the first real representation of Steve. Thanks for writing this and we should all and precise his tireless efforts on behalf of his convictions and precis tend support he gives out gay community! Well done Steve Grand!! I'm always with you and supporting you 200% as always!!!